National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) has challenged Wusakile member of parliament Pavyuma Kalobo to name the unions who are failing to represent their members because they have businesses with the mines.
And NUMAW says it is wrong for unions to engage in businesses with mines whose workers they represent as that constitutes conflict of interest.
Kalobo over the weekend accused mine unions of failing to protect their members from losing jobs because they having running contracts as suppliers to the mines.
But NUMAW national vice-secretary Jimmy Lungu said it was wrong for the parliamentarian to speak out in such a manner without facts.
Lungu has expressed fear that such sentiments have potential to incite miners to rise against unions, especially that “there is no truth in the allegations raised”.
He has further challenged Kalobo to come out in the open and name mine unions that have running contracts as suppliers to the mines.
“It is very unfortunate the Member of Parliament is a leader, so are union leaders. There are problems in Wusakile, we are not talking about them. If there are people who are suppliers, let him name them. It is wrong for the union to have a contract with a company one represents; there is conflict of interest. We as unions don’t support that, we have to be careful about what we say. I would want to challenge Honourable Pavyuma today, let him tell us that this person has a contract in this and that mine, it is not fair for us to be pressed against the wall,” Lungu said.
He said being a leader, Kalobo should engage his counterparts if he has information of people engaging in such acts.
“Let him sit down and talk to his fellow MPs. Leaders are brothers and sisters. Before you go to the people, we have to sit down and talk,” said Lungu, adding that it was sad that mine unions were being called names in the wake of job losses “even when some people losing jobs in the Mines are not represented by the unions”.